Ado Vabbe completed about 70-90 paintings in 1941-1950. Figurally relatively realistic compositions completed with scant colouring are characteristic of Vabbe’s creative work from the 1940’s. War Refugees was also probably completed during the war years or immediately after the war. Like many people, Vabbe personally experienced fleeing from war. During the last years of the war, he had to change his lodgings many times with his little son. The fact that the men depicted in the painting are in German uniforms adds controversy to the subject, for which reason the exposition of the exhibition was impossible during the Soviet era and thus the work is also unsigned.
War Refugees is painted on paper, which can be accounted for by difficulties in obtaining more expensive base materials as well as by the fact that the improvisational nature of Vabbe’s creative style also contributed significantly to such a choice.
Since Vabbe painted even less frequently after 1947, War Refugees could probably be dated more appropriately in the interval 1944-1947.